The Most Expensive Suite at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Hotel
Built on a man-made island in the Arabian Gulf, Dubai’s Burj Al Arab Jumeirah was designed to exude luxury in every way. With its distinctive shape inspired by a dhow sail, the hotel incorporates a stunning array of sumptuous materials, including over 21,000 square feet of 24K-gold leaf, thirty different types of marble (among them rare Statuario marble, which was used by Michelangelo in his masterpieces), custom-made carpets from South Africa and India, chandeliers from the U.K., and locally designed wooden doors. Guests have access to four swimming pools, nine restaurants and bars, a spa and fitness center, a private beach, manicured gardens, a helipad, and a water park.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a lackluster room, but of all the hotel’s luxurious accommodations, the two Royal Suites are the most over-the-top. Each one occupies half of the 25th floor and was designed for royals, dignitaries, and other esteemed visitors. Upon entering, guests will find themselves in an entry hall decked out in marble and gold, with a grand staircase leading to the suite’s upper level. (There’s also an elevator connecting the two levels, so no need to worry about lugging your suitcase up the stairs.)
The 8,396-square-foot suite comprises the master bedroom, complete with a rotating canopy bed; a huge dressing room; a dining room that can accommodate 12 a Majlis-style sitting room for entertaining guests; a private cinema; and a study equipped with the latest tech gadgets. Guests receive a custom-made 24K-gold iPad that serves as a virtual concierge, though of course, a butler is just a call away—there are 27 phones throughout the suite for easy access. If that weren’t enough, there’s a pillow menu with 17 options, a special bath menu for use in the round marble tub, and Hermès bath products. Needless to say, guests enjoy the most attentive service imaginable.
The most shocking thing? The royal suite’s rates start at just $8,900 per night. Take a tour of the opulent accommodation below.
Burj Al Arab Hotel Dubai United Arab Emirates
Dubai’s iconic building is a construction of superlatives. The world’s tallest hotel (321 meters) is also popularly described as the world’s only 7-Star hotel – although its formal rating is 5 Star Deluxe, the highest the international rating system offers.
Built on its own artificial island, the hotel can be reached by causeway (in one of its courtesy white Rolls Royces) or by helicopter, straight to its heliport cantilevered out from its top floor. (The heliport has also served as a grass tennis court for Andre Agassi and Roger Federer, and a golf green for Tiger Woods.)
Also extending from the top floor is the Skyview Bar, with sunset views over the Gulf, including the artificial Palm Jumeirah island and The World archipelago.
Inside, the superlatives mostly translate into extreme gaudiness, with gold leaf applied more for quantity than design. There is little subtlety in the decor of the communal entrance areas, with the exception of the dramatic larger-than-life aquaria lining the escalators (top-right picture).
The front (shore-facing) facade is constructed of two tiers of huge, steel ‘X’ trusses. Below these, full-width windows provide panoramic views from two levels of entrance lobby, unencumbered by structural support.
Above these first two levels, the facade outside of the trusses is made up of translucent white fabric stretched around the structural frame – the sail of the dhow that the building’s shape is inspired by. During the day, this white wall glows to illuminate the full-height atrium (at 180 meters, the world’s tallest). At night, a complex arrangement of changing projected lighting makes Burj Al Arab a changing beacon seen from outside, while providing a dramatic illuminated show seen from the atrium within.
On the opposite side of the atrium, the floors are organized around corridor ‘galleries’ that open onto the atrium space.
How to visit
As its web site describes it, “Burj Al Arab is located in the Jumeirah Beach area of Dubai, 15 km. from the main city centre and 25 km. from Dubai International Airport. It is well served by taxis and has its own fleet of 10 chauffeur driven Rolls-Royces. It stands proudly on a man-made island some 280m. offshore and is linked to the mainland by a slender, gently curving causeway.”
To cross the causeway, however, you need a reservation at the hotel. Casual visitors are not admitted, and reservations – even for a meal – require almost as much advance notice as they do cash.
Even if you don’t make it across the causeway, there are great views of the building from the shoreline, including the neighboring Jumeirah Beach hotel and Madinat Jumeirah, which are both also luxury hotels but physically more accessible.
Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 3, Dubai